The Bell Witch legend of Tennessee

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Respect for the rights of property owners is encouraged by the Bell Witch Web Site

Respecting the Rights of Others

By Pat Fitzhugh, Author / Historian

This web site receives many inquiries about visiting Bell Witch-related landmarks in and around Adams, Tennessee -- most notably the old Bell farm and graveyard.  The original John Bell farm consisted of 328 acres.  It has been divided numerous times and in many different ways since the early 1800s.

The section where the house, well, and cemetery were located is still one tract, and I refer to the tract as "the old Bell farm," although it's but a small portion of the original farm.  Please read and understand the following about the section I call "the old Bell farm:"

  • The old Bell farm is on private property that is owned by a private foundation, and permission must be obtained to visit the place.

  • I do not own the property and I am not a member of the foundation who owns it.  Don't ask me for permission; I can not grant it.

  • I will not divulge the owners' names or contact information because I respect their privacy.  If you feel  the need to visit the private property (as opposed to the public areas that are Bell Witch-related), please locate the proper parties and ask them for permission.

  • Please do not ask me about the chances of getting caught if you sneak in, or for instructions on how to get there (the private section).

  • The Bell Witch Web Site does not condone illegal or unethical activity of any kind, including trespassing on the land of others.

Some parts of the original land (but not where the house, well and graveyard were located) are open to the public at certain times.  Information about those places can be found on the Attractions page.  Area history can be found on the Adams page.

Always obtain permission before entering private property.  Determine the appropriate person/entity to ask, plead your case, and accept whatever decision you are given.  Be honest about why you want to enter their property and be respectful of them. 

Gravestone of Calvin Johnston of Bell Witch fame

A gravestone is more than just a body marker; it is an eternal tribute to the life of someone who once walked the earth just as we do now.  The grave itself is where the deceased or their family believed they could spend eternity, in peace and with respect.

Remember mortal man, as you pass by;
As you are now, so once was I.
As I am now, so you must be;

Prepare for death, and follow me. 1

Treating graveyards with respect is just a matter of common sense, in my opinion.  There is an infinite list of disrespectful acts that have been committed against  gravestones and graveyards.  All I am asking here is that if/when you visit a cemetery, please don't get so wrapped up in your visit that you lose sight of the fact that REAL PEOPLE are buried there.  

Pictures, EVPs and the like, when done with permission, cause no harm; but activities that go beyond that usually pose a problem.  Most of the paranormal investigation groups I have met have been very honest, ethical, and responsible.


1.  Epitaph from the gravestone of Daniel Calvin Johnston, who was a prominent citizen of the Red River Settlement, a friend of the Bells,  and thought to be the only man with whom "Kate" shook hands.  Source:  The Bell Witch: The Full Account, p. 325.

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Last Update: December 16, 2018 The Bell Witch Web Site
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Pat Fitzhugh
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